How does radiation effect plants in space?
how does radiation effect plants?
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Plants are affected mostly by the lack of gravity (they don't know where to grow because there is no up or down).
Because on a space shuttle or space station orbiting the Earth you get light and dark cycles of 90 minutes (as the ship orbits around the Earth in this time) this would also affect the plants' day/night cycles. During the night, plants shut down their photosynthesis process, as there is no light.
Plants would also miss rthe seasons, which are essential for flowering (or other reproductive cycles).
There have been short term experiments involving plants in space. I do not thing the longterm (months, years or longer) effects have ben studied.
The plants studied where probably bean stalks or other fast growing species and what was mostly observeed was the effect of the lack of gravity.
Radiation such as UV would be blocked by the ships walls. But high energy cosmic rays zip through. This limits the time astronauts can spend safely in space.
Longterm effects will include the know effects of radiation: cancer (which plants can also get), sterility, general poor health (reduced imune deficiency), sterility or presence of defects on the offspring.
Not all plants and not all parts of each plant would be equally vulnerable.
It is possible the longterm effect of lack of gravity and of a proper day/night cycle would be fatal to many plants before the longterm effects of radiation became noticeable.
Day/night could always be simulated by use of adequate timed lighting.
- 1 decade ago
Plants do not exisst floating around in space. They have been into space on space shuttle etc, but these are shielded from harmfull radiation. In space, plants do not grow correctly, due to the lack of gravity. On earth plants need gravity to tell them which way is up and down, so they know in which direction their roots/stems should grow.
If a plant were subjected to radiation, I suspect that it would have the same effect as it would on animal cells, in that it would alter the dna in the nucleus, possibly leading to mutations or cancers in the plant
- Anonymous1 decade ago
There are no plants in space... except for the space between your ears... and I think that is considered a fungus or a moss. You may want to look up the difference between the words "effect" and "affect"
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Depends on the circumstance. It couldn't grow in space because there is no soil (obviously) So nothing much. The seed would just float around.